America's Dangerous Obsession With Invincibility - Page 7 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

Wandering the information superhighway, he came upon the last refuge of civilization, PoFo, the only forum on the internet ...

All general discussion about politics that doesn't belong in any of the other forums.

Moderator: PoFo Political Circus Mods

#15257005
Unthinking Majority wrote:It's hard to compare Canada 1:1 to the US or China. China doesn't have near the standard of living and their population density is far higher, as is the US. Canada also has colder winters than the US. It's not that Canada is "more wasteful", it's just a fluke based on their geography and climate and borders. But it's still better for the environment to have a small population spread out in cold weather than having a huge masses of people more densely located together, because total GHG output is far more important than per capita output.


Yes and no.

Some communities have been unable to avoid high use of fossil fuels due to poverty, such as remote Indigenous communities, but most of Canada lives in communities wealthy enough to afford clean energy. Quebec, for example, gets almost all of its power from hydro and has per capita GHG rates close to China.

If the rest of Canada had switched when Quebec did, we would have significantly reduced our contribution to GHGs.

But if you want to discuss whether total or per capita is more important, note that CO2 lasts about 200 years in the atmosphere. So, if you want to point fingers, you should look at whoever has produced the most GHGs over the last 200 years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_w ... c_of_China

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_C ... nd_battles


Thank you. Please note that the PRC has been involved in les wars over less time, and the majority have been to protect their own lands, as they see it.

Give the CCP the power the US inherited after WWII and after 1989 and we'll see. It's not like the USSR behaved better than the USA. And the USSR locked its people behind walls, starved millions to death, and sent others to the gulag, and made war all around the world.


Yes, China might become even more dangerous that the USA when it becomes the global hegemon. Since it is not the world’s only superpower right now, this is a speculation and not an argument about current levels of danger.

There was a lot of opposition to the Iraq War, and Bush's popularity was quite low when he left office and people were starving for Obama and booted the GOP. But the Bush admin took advantage of post-9/11 patriotism to push a war a lot less people would have agreed with normally.


Exactly, Bush did not receive any serious or significant opposition to his deceitful plan to invade Iraq and (deliberately) kill thousands of civilians.

I didn't say the checks were perfect, there's still gaps, but it's significantly more than what the CCP has. It's a 1-party system. At least in America they can boot Trump if they no longer like him, and they did, and they booted the neocons too, for Mitt Romney and Obama. DeSantis is even leading in the polls for the GOP nomination over Trump.


Okay, but since the population of the USA is supportive of war in general, Washington has never been stopped, nor will the US public stop the Washington war machine in the foreseeable future.

While other countries may share this lack of significant check against warmongering, no other country has such a huge army, nor does any other country send its troops abroad so often.

The CCP has so much control they even show up to your house in Canada if you're a Chinese-Canadian in order to threaten you to comply with whatever they want. It's no different inside the actual country. China also has 540 million CCTV cameras in the country to have surveillance on as many people as they can: https://quillette.com/2022/09/25/china- ... veillance/


https://www.inverse.com/article/61552-u ... ce-cameras

The USA has even more surveillance cameras, per capita.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/ ... estigation


I believe the USA also arrests people overseas. Even people who are not US citizens. And many have been sent to blacksites for torture and other punishments, without trial.

Well under that definition you can say every country is authoritarian then. Either way, it's still a fact that the CCP is far more authoritarian than the US government, and it's not even close.


In some ways, maybe. The situation with the Uighurs seems to be almost exactly like US treatment of Indigenous people, minus the Trail of Tears.
#15257009
ckaihatsu wrote:
I desperately seek your approval, late.



Reagan funded abm research, although he did it in a stupid way. He also didn't work on anti-proliferation, and it looks like he quietly helped Pakistan get the bomb.

The cat is out of the bag.
#15257010
late wrote:
Reagan funded abm research, although he did it in a stupid way. He also didn't work on anti-proliferation, and it looks like he quietly helped Pakistan get the bomb.

The cat is out of the bag.



Or, sunny-side-*up*, how about nukes is a good excuse for international ties and diplomacy, with *more* anti-proliferation treaties -- ?
#15257073
Fasces wrote:Again, you're relying on the same fear that motivates US policy. The risk can never be zero, and striving for that is both unrealistic and dangerous.

The world is filled with fear and insecurity. This is why every single country in the world has a military or is backed by one, and this has been the case forever. The US didn't invent fear and insecurity or create the international system.

The US, as the largest military force on the planet, needs to take the first step. There are no assurances. Nonetheless, it is a step the US must take.

Sure I agree. But it also takes 2 to tango. Russia and China aren't the most honest brokers either. They break agreements all the time too. Do you think it's easy to get them to comply with agreements? There's 80 years of distrust to unwind between all of them. It's not always the US's fault, every country is frightened for their security and they act accordingly. And i'm certainly not saying it's never the US's fault, there's a lot of blame to go around including them.

The short-term achievable goals that the US could unilaterally make tomorrow that would help establish trust are 1) adopt a NFU policy and go to peacetime nuclear readiness in a manner similar to the PRC and ROI, and 2) agree to abide by international institutions such as the International Court of Justice, UNCLOS, and others.

In the case of 1), the US's largest rivals have already adopted such a policy,

Russia has recently threatened a first strike in Ukraine.

in the case of 2), the US expects the world to abide by these institutions but not itself. It should put its money where its mouth is and create credibility in what international norms and institutions do exist by agreeing to them. Until the US is willing to demonstrate its commitment to the bare minimum, how can it expect others to do the same?

Yes I agree. They need to lead by example. But then this assumes the others, like the USSR, weren't cheating. When one starts to cheat, the others will follow, because nobody wants anyone else to have an advantage. It's a systemic problem which is extremely difficult to solve. All it takes is one major player to cheat to try to get an advantage, which is an easy temptation, and the whole thing comes apart. Because it's extremely hard to enforce international law. It's a lot more complicated than "the US is the hegemonic bad guy" or "Russia, China, and Iran are evil dictatorships". Blaming "one side" for everything is nonsense and so boring.
#15257075
I blame the US for creating these international institutions and norms in the 1950s, and then failing to abide by them. Why expect others to obey an international order you yourself refuse to be constrained by? The failure of the post-war world order is entirely on the US, for that reason.

If China comes to establish a new world order sometime in the future, and similarly refuses to constrain itself while demanding others be constrained, I'll have criticism for China at that point.
#15257094
Fasces wrote:I blame the US for creating these international institutions and norms in the 1950s, and then failing to abide by them. Why expect others to obey an international order you yourself refuse to be constrained by? The failure of the post-war world order is entirely on the US, for that reason.

If China comes to establish a new world order sometime in the future, and similarly refuses to constrain itself while demanding others be constrained, I'll have criticism for China at that point.

I would think the first of the great powers, at that point either USSR or USA, to routinely not abide by the rules would be to blame. Because the other guy isn't going to keep abiding by the rules if the other guy isn't, they would be foolish to do that, because they would be putting themselves at a disadvantage. So that could be the USA or USSR who were the first, we don't really know.

The other problem is that there's no meaningful enforcement mechanism. Laws aren't useful if people who break them aren't punished for them. IMO its a systemic problem. As I said, these things are complex.

It just all breaks down when existential threats occur. Cuba becomes communist, its seen as a major threat to US economic interests in Latin America, so they try regime change in Cuba. How in the hell do you prevent that? It's almost impossible.

I do agree that it's up to the US to initiate building a new system, or improve the old one. But again, the others also have to be open to it and there needs to be some kind of indication they'll act in good faith too. The US and China seem more reasonable than Putin, who is trapped in Cold War paranoia.
#15257095
We've been over this many times at this point. I'm not speaking about "what is" but rather what "should be".

Unthinking Majority wrote:The other problem is that there's no meaningful enforcement mechanism. Laws aren't useful if people who break them aren't punished for them. IMO its a systemic problem. As I said, these things are complex.


Which is why, as I've said before, the US needs to cede power, a real way, to establish such an enforcement mechanism.

The international system is not inherently different from the natural progression of centralized order we have seen at the tribal, city, provincial, and national levels. At all points, the rulers below had to take the step of agreeing to cede some power to an external authority above.

The US, as the current global hegemon, is the entity most responsible for doing so. It needs to start establishing institutions independent of their control and which have the power to constrain them, agree to accept those constraints and to abide by the terms of these new institutions: even when it doesn't want too or thinks it not in its short-term interest.

Unthinking Majority wrote:Cuba becomes communist, its seen as a major threat to US economic interests in Latin America, so they try regime change in Cuba. How in the hell do you prevent that? It's almost impossible.


You stop thinking that you have any rightful say in the economic agency of other states. Is Cuba an independent sovereign country or not, and does its sovereignty mean anything or doesn't it?

If the US has a right to intervene in Cuban political decision-making, then I think by all rightful standards, it should enfranchise Cubans and give them a vote and stop the charade of Cuban independence.

Unthinking Majority wrote:But again, the others also have to be open to it and there needs to be some kind of indication they'll act in good faith too.


As the premier power, the US needs to be the first to act - precisely because it can cede some power at less risk to itself.

All the above is pie in the sky "this is how it should be."

To get back to "what can be", because obviously creating a whole new global system of government, for lack of a better word, is a multi-generational project at the least.

In the short term, the realizable, achievable, and actual feasible policy objectives I have for US foreign policy (in the next 10-20 years):

1) Adopt a NFU policy on nuclear weapons.

2) Abandon the "two wars" doctrine of strategic primacy.

3) Acknowledge and agree to be constrained by international institutions that exist: recognize the authority of the International Criminal Court. Sign and obey the UNCLOS, Geneva Conventions, and other similar documents. Join the Paris Climate Accord or equivalent other international programs. Stop whining about giving up a modicum of power to other states.

Fundamentally, it must accept that trust, by definition, involves risk, and you cannot build an international system based on trust and cooperation without assuming some national security risk in the short term.

I'm not expecting the US to hand over all its power to China in 1-5 years and hope for the best, but I see the above 3 as necessary to begin the process at all. The actions above do not present any large national security risk to the US. You can't expect China or any other rational actor to trust the US if the US is not willing to do the above, the bare minimum, and show it has trust in the global community.

If the US is unwilling to do even the bare minimum and take that first step, it is guilty of perpetuating a dangerous international order. Again, I am just talking about those specific actions above. Why should I blame others for playing the game the US clearly wants to play, then?

I'm not even talking about shit like stop expanding NATO, disarmament, or getting rid of the Security Council veto, UT. The above is really the barest of the bare minimum.
#15257098
The assumption in the video that China or Russia will magically scale down their missile efforts if the US does the same is just nonsense. Neither has any reason whatsoever to do so, and they won't.

Also, military spending stood at 3.7% of GDP in 2020, not too different to where it was in the late 1990s. And it is forecasted to trend down, if anything.
#15257101
Potemkin wrote:"They are all thieves, every damn one of them!" - Harry S. Truman


It turns out that those who you advocate are the worst thugs of all.
#15257105
Unthinking Majority wrote:
has a military or is backed by one, and this has been the case forever.



Bullshit -- you're trying to sell *statism* all over again:



Primitive communism is a way of describing the gift economies of hunter-gatherers throughout history, where resources and property hunted or gathered are shared with all members of a group in accordance with individual needs. In political sociology and anthropology, it is also a concept (often credited to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels) that describes hunter-gatherer societies as traditionally being based on egalitarian social relations and common ownership.[1][2][3] A primary inspiration for both Marx and Engels were Lewis H. Morgan's descriptions of "communism in living" as practised by the Haudenosaunee of North America.[4] In Marx's model of socioeconomic structures, societies with primitive communism had no hierarchical social class structures or capital accumulation.[5]



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primitive_communism



---


Unthinking Majority wrote:
Yes I agree. They need to lead by example. But then this assumes the others, like the USSR, weren't cheating. When one starts to cheat, the others will follow, because nobody wants anyone else to have an advantage. It's a systemic problem which is extremely difficult to solve. All it takes is one major player to cheat to try to get an advantage, which is an easy temptation, and the whole thing comes apart. Because it's extremely hard to enforce international law. It's a lot more complicated than "the US is the hegemonic bad guy" or "Russia, China, and Iran are evil dictatorships". Blaming "one side" for everything is nonsense and so boring.



Now you're painting international relations as being the 'Wild West'.



Inspections and transparency

Iran will be required to provide the International Atomic Energy Agency access to all of its declared facilities so that the agency can be assured of the peaceful nature of the nuclear program.[18] According to details of the deal published by the U.S. government, IAEA inspectors would have access to all of the nuclear facilities including enrichment facilities, the supply chain that supports the nuclear program and uranium mines as well as continuous surveillance at uranium mills, centrifuge rotors and bellows production and storage facilities. Iran will be required to grant access to the IAEA to investigate suspicious sites or allegations of a covert enrichment facility, conversion facility, centrifuge production facility, or yellowcake production facility anywhere in the country. Iran will implement an agreed set of measures to address the IAEA's concerns regarding the Possible Military Dimensions (PMD) of its program.[17]

According to the Iranian fact sheet, Iran will implement the Additional Protocol temporarily and voluntarily in line with its confidence-building measures and after that the protocol will be ratified in a time frame by the Iranian government and parliament (Majlis).[citation needed]



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_nucl ... ansparency
#15257121
Fasces wrote:Why would countries spend resources on an expensive response to carrier groups and missile defense if US military strategy didn't pursue them?


Exactly.

Americans manage to drive cars, get fat, and spend hours pursuing cat videos on the Internet... while their country blows up half the world and plots against friends and enemies alike. No sweat.

But for the rest of the world, the kind of resource consumption (and social cost) of keeping-up-with-the-Dahmers... deprives the populations of the ability to self-actualize, to feed, clothe and shelter.

There is an analogy to be made with rich SUV drivers. For them, driving the lastest auto trend costs them virtually nothing. So the rich have normalized car transportation, and most other transportation options have been destroyed in the USA. This forces lower income people to sacrifice things like food budgets and housing budgets... in order to "keep up" with the rich drivers who have destroyed all other options.

Another similarity (between hegemon and driver) is that the car driver feels invincible and totally in control. And is, in reality, the biggest nuisance imaginable for pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers.
#15257124
Fasces wrote:Why would countries spend resources on an expensive response to carrier groups and missile defense if US military strategy didn't pursue them?


Because those carrier groups can be used offensively. Missiles can also be used offensively, and much of the missile tech has both offensive and defensive uses.

Also, Russia and China could choose to do so to deter actors other than the US. China needs to deter other nuclear powers (India), Russia and China have themselves fought military conflicts with each other in the not so distant past. So pretending all their own missile programs exist solely to deter the US is nonsense.
#15257126
Fasces wrote:Which is why, as I've said before, the US needs to cede power,

I can't speak for everyone who supports America, but as a general rule I have not got the slightest interest in the united States ceding power to Russia or China. I supported Russia in Syria over America, but that is the exception. It was Syria by the way that caused me to switch my support from Hilary to Trump in the 2016 Presidential election and caused me to shift my support from Sanders to Trump after the Zionists closed down the Democratic Primary in 2020 and Sanders dropped out .

Previously I did support Russia in Crimea and the Donbas, but Putin's behaviour this year has caused me to withdraw even that support. If America could take control of the Siberian gas fields from Russia I would now support it. Personally I have no need to idealise the United States, past or present. There are many places in the world where American policies are not the ideal, but in almost none of them would greater Russian or Chinese influence be an improvement.

So yes there is an imbalance in the power of the United States relative to Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and Maduro. I would like to see that imbalance grow bigger.
  • 1
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 14

@wat0n If you think systemic racism occurs ev[…]

What the issue is? The US government NEVER had th[…]

Russia-Ukraine War 2022

Looks like we finally are shifting from "wint[…]

Exit Brexit, Part Deux

Reality was probably less clear, as a superpower […]